Santuit/Cotuit ice was harvested from Eagle, Lewis and No Bottom Ponds and sold to townspeople to preserve their food. During the months of January and February it was a common sight to see ice blocks 10-12 inches thick harvested and stored in large and small ice houses.
Our grounds hold the Dottridge Homestead, the Cotuit Museum and attached Fire Museum, The Cotuit Archives. the Rothwell Ice House. Cotuit Museum Shop and Historical Kitchen Gardens. The buildings are open weekends from Memorial Day through Christmas. The archives are available for research, and the Homestead and museums are available for private tours by appointment.
Back in the 1950s, Mrs. Nita Crawford inherited the Samuel Dottridge Homestead and used it as the laundry for her historic hotel, The Pines.
After there was no longer a need for the house, she embarked on an ambitious project to reconstruct the Samuel Dottridge Homestead on the corner of Main Street and Shell Lane to its original condition and make it the headquarters for HSSC.
She asked her neighbors, friends, and local residents to search their attics, cellars, barns, and storerooms for anything that was used between 1800-1850. Dinner and dessert parties with formal invitations were among the many ways Mrs. Crawford raised enough funds to fully reconstruct the Homestead to an authentic dwelling of that time period.
On June 13, 1964, 10 years after the Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit was established, the doors to the Homestead were open to the public for the first time.
Sixty years later, the Homestead has remained the headquarters of HSSC, growing to include a museum featuring Cotuit and Cape Cod history, the Cotuit Fire Museum, and a reproduction of a 19th century ice house.